No. 17 Aggies Upset No. 12 Air Force At Triton Invite

Austin Beckwith scored the winner in Saturday's 12-11 sudden victory over Air Force.
Austin Beckwith scored the winner in Saturday's 12-11 sudden victory over Air Force.

Sep 7, 2013

LA JOLLA, Calif. - Sophomore Austin Beckwith scored with 1:16 remaining in the second sudden-victory period to lift 17th-ranked UC Davis to a 12-11 victory over 12th-ranked Air Force, completing a Day 1 Aggie sweep at the Triton Invitational men's water polo tournament hosted at UC San Diego's Canyonview Aquatic Center. UC Davis earlier dispatched new Western Water Polo Association member Cal Baptist by a 12-10 final.

The Aggies open the year at 2-0, marking the first career wins for new head coach Daniel Leyson. The Falcons are the defending WWPA champions.

True freshman Zoltan Lazar scored a hat trick for UC Davis, including one goal in each of the regular overtime segments. Senior Bernie Rodgers and juniors Teddy Nicholson and Trevor Allen each added another two. Sophomore Philip Bates and redshirt freshman Zach Tudhope split the goalkeeping chores with seven and five saves, respectively.

Nicholson netted both of his goals in a span of 53 seconds during the second quarter, helping the Aggies turn a 3-3 tie into a 5-3 edge. Sophomore Andy Santala, who led the Falcons with four goals, halved the lead on the next possession but Rogers converted a power play opportunity to restore the margin to two. Air Force then responded with three unanswered -- two to tie the score at 6-6 at the break, then another on a 6-on-5 chance early in the third.



Santala and Landon Carr scored back-to-back early in the fourth to boost the Academy to a 9-7 lead. But as the game clock wound down, Lazar hit a 6-on-5 goal with 1:47 remaining in regulation and Allen scored a natural goal a minute later to equalize at 9-9 at the 35-second mark. Neither team could undo that knot and the game went to extra frames.

Just a minute into the overtime, defender Zack Kamai gave his team a 10-9 lead with a natural goal. On the next possession, Carr fouled out of the game to give UC Davis another power play. Lazar converted, tying the contest at 10-10.

The cycle repeated itself in the next three-minute overtime segment: Air Force's Ben Rogers scored with less than two minutes left, then Lazar struck again with another extra-man goal. The score held at 11-11 for the remaining minute of overtime, then through three full minutes of the first sudden-victory period.

Finally, Beckwith came up with his game-winner after Air Force failed to score on its attacking end. The speedy attacker outraced his Falcon defender down the right side of the pool, then hit the opposite corner with 76 seconds left in the period.

In Saturday's opener, Rogers scored four goals while junior Chris Richardson added three, helping UC Davis protect a 6-3 second-quarter lead en route to a 12-10 win over Cal Baptist. Allen chipped in another two goals. Nicholson, Michael Millstein and Jacob Ley each netted one. Bates and Tudhope combined for nine saves in front of the cage.

Richardon's two goals in the second quarter highlighted a 4-0 run for the Aggies, turning a 3-2 deficit late in the opening frame into the three-goal lead with 59 seconds left. Matt Puig, who led the Lancers with five goals, cut the margin with a 6-on-5 conversion soon after, sending UC Davis to the halftime break with a 6-4 edge.

Puig and Keith Jizmejian scored back-to-back after the intermission to equalize at 6-6, and CBU had a chance to regain the lead when it drew a power play with 5:26 to go. The Aggies defended on five-man, then responded with goals by Millstein and Allen to take the lead for good at the 3:36 mark. The Lancers pulled to within a single goal on four different occasions, and each time UC Davis quickly answered. Puig's fifth goal made it 11-10 with 1:43 remaining in regulation. Hoewver, Allen's successful extra-man goal with 27 ticks effectively sealed the victory.

CBU is among the progarms receiving votes in the national preseason poll.

The Aggies conclude play at the Triton Invite on Sunday, facing No. 12 Long Beach State at 10 a.m. and No. 4 California at 2:30 p.m.

UC Davis games only.

Cal Baptist 3 1 3 3 - 10
#17 UC Davis 3 3 2 4 - 12

GOALS - CBU: Matt Puig 5, Eric Camohan 2, Keith Jizmejian 2, Clint Walling 1. UC Davis: Bernie Rogers 4, Chris Richardson 3, Trevor Allen 2, Jacob Ley 1, Michael Millstein 1, Teddy Nicholson 1.

GOALIE SAVES - CBU: Dylan Vrooman 8 (32:00). UC Davis: Philip Bates 4 (16:00), Zach Tudhope 5 (16:00).

#17 UC Davis 2 4 1 2 1 1 1 - 12
#12 Air Force 2 4 1 2 1 1 0 - 11

GOALS - UC Davis: Zoltan Lazar 3, Trevor Allen 2, Teddy Nicholson 2, Bernie Rogers 2, Austin Beckwith 2, Jacob Ley 1. AFA: Andy Santala 4, Zack Kamai 2, Josh Stedman 2, Dominic Vicino 1, Landon Carr 1, Ben Rogers 1.

GOALIE SAVES - UC Davis: Philip Bates 7, Zach Tudhope 5. Air Force: Caleb Guarino 10.